Delta Air Lines Responds to Atlanta Airport Meltdown — and More Travel Waivers Issued

A meltdown — which is approaching that of historic proportions in terms of commercial aviation — occurred at the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area at approximately 1:00 in the afternoon earlier today, Sunday, December 17, 2017.

Not only have hundreds of flights been canceled and more have been diverted to airports as far away as Toronto; but flights have already been proactively canceled for tomorrow, Monday, December 18, 2017.

Delta Air Lines Responds to Atlanta Airport Meltdown — and More Travel Waivers Issued

The official response from Delta Air Lines as of 9:30 in the evening — 40 minutes ago at the time this article was written — is as follows:

Delta customers scheduled to traverse Atlanta Monday are encouraged to check their flight status as approximately 300 flights will be cancelled due to Sunday’s power outage at the Atlanta airport affecting all airlines there. Delta also cancelled approximately 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday and diverted 48 flights to alternate airports due to the nationwide groundstop for Atlanta-bound flights. The airline is working to reaccommodate impacted customers on alternate flights. Cancellations are designed, in part, to allow the operation to best reset Monday.

Delta leaders having been working to support customers by coordinating with Atlanta airport officials and leaders at the City of Atlanta and Georgia Power.

Delta customers are encouraged to check the status of their flight via the Fly Delta mobile app or delta.com before heading to the airport. Customers flying to, from or though Atlanta can make a one-time changes to their travel plans. Details are available at delta.com.

Delta has temporarily embargoed unaccompanied minors from traveling Monday due to the power outage. Unaccompanied minors who already began their travel Sunday may continue.

The Atlanta Airport, along with Atlanta Police Department, is restricting the vehicles allowed to the terminal drop-off and pick-up area due to congestion. The Atlanta Airport is providing updates at http://www.atl.com/media-center/

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

Hundreds of flights have already been canceled for the day — and more have been proactively canceled for tomorrow — which prompted the issuance of travel waivers by additional airlines.

If you are traveling to or from Atlanta, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to the electrical power outage which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are seven airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this electrical power outage:

  • Delta Air Lines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Thursday, December 21, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • American Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Thursday, December 21, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Thursday, December 21, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017; and Sunday, December 31, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017; and Tuesday, December 19, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Monday, January 1, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Sunday, December 17, 2017 through Monday, December 18, 2017; and Thursday, December 21, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

You can bet that the people who were responsible for this situation occurring in the first place will be held accountable for this inexcusable mess once it has finally been resolved. What exactly was the timeline of this debacle — which resulted in chaos for tens of thousands of people — will be very interesting once it becomes available.

In the meantime, many travelers have been unnecessarily inconvenienced for as many as 9.5 hours — and most likely for as many as eleven hours — but fortunately, no fatalities or injuries were reported as a result.

If you have been affected by the loss of electrical power at the airport in Atlanta, I hope your travels resume as quickly and as safely as possible; and I hope that your inconvenience has been kept to a minimum…

 Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “Delta Air Lines Responds to Atlanta Airport Meltdown — and More Travel Waivers Issued”

  1. Christian says:

    Obviously an awful situation. Delta’s hubris in abrogating interline agreements comes back to roost now. This ivory tower mentality reminds me of Pan Am in the 80’s.

  2. Mike L says:

    “You can bet that the people who were responsible for this situation occurring in the first place will be held accountable for this inexcusable mess once it has finally been resolved.” What makes you think someone was responsible? It was an electrical fire… They seem to contained and extinguished it and are working to repair the damage.

    1. @Mike L – I thought the same thing. Complex systems break down sometimes. It is human nature to blame “someone” when in case this stuff happens.

  3. Steve L says:

    A totally shambolic performance by ATL. Where is the backup electrical system? Third world when it comes to who’s on first – six hours into the outage and still Georgia Power or the Airport or the CIty could not – or would not – identify the source and cause of the outage. Where is the evidence of contingency plans for an electrical outage (e.g. get passengers to alight from the aircraft instead of sitting like prisoners inside for six hours without food, water or latrine facilities? The elderly, children? Who cares anymore. It’s a collapse in what was long ago a can do America. Seems like the standard collapse in corporate/government run operations. As long as upper management is pulling in their six and seven plus figure salaries and bonuses they could care less. And today in ATL it showed mightly for all the world to see. Decades gone by and no evidence of planning at ATL for a power outage? Think about that. Shame, shame on the incompetents and worthless who are in so=called leadership positions. Utter failures and goofballs!

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